Introducing fully automatic uploads

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About a year ago, we got a request from a Wesabe user that asked,

Hey, Wesabe is great, and your Uploader is one of the main reasons I joined — asking me to put my bank password into some new web site in order to even try it would have been nuts. But now I’ve been using it for a while, and I trust you. Do you plan to make some way for me to use Wesabe and get automatic updates without having to run the Uploader all the time?

(Another Wesabean was more blunt: “I’m glad you didn’t ask for my passwords on the first date. But now that we’ve been going out for a while….” — well, you get the idea.)

Over the year, we’ve heard the same thing from many people. They started with Wesabe because they believe we care a huge amount about securing their data (and we do). They liked that we provided choices for making their uploads automatic. But after a while, they had come to trust us and believe in our mission, and now they wanted something more convenient from us.

Today, we’re answering that request. We’ve just launched an invitation-only preview to our “Automatic Uploader,” which provides fully automatic updates to your Wesabe accounts, and which does not require you to install any software or downloads from us. If you’re interested in giving it a try, head over to preview.wesabe.com and sign up for an invitation. Today we support fully automatic updates for more than 75% of the accounts on our site, and we plan to launch with about 90% — and since we support more banks and credit cards than other sites, that adds up to a great level of coverage. We’re rolling this out a bit at a time to allow us to scale it up smoothly, and to work out any errors downloading accounts before a general launch.

screenshot

We believe that it is a huge strength of Wesabe that we offer you choices about how you want to manage your data, and control over your data — moreso than any other company. As part of that, we are continuing to support our Desktop, Firefox, and Manual Uploaders, which give you this benefit, and we will continue to support them as long as people ask us to. But we also want to be the most convenient site, and to do that, we think this is a great step.

In the process of building the Automatic Uploader, we’ve done a bunch of interesting and, we think, innovative security work to make our setup for this as good as it can be — extending our “Super Ninja Privacy Techniques” to this part of the application, too. I’ve written before about why we think that outsourcing data upload to third party companies is terrible for users, and prevents us from giving you the control over your data that we think is critical. This is a great example of what owning the whole process allows us to do: pass on our security benefits to you and make sure we don’t give up any control for you. We’re going to be publishing the methods we’ve developed to make this work once the feature goes into general release.

I’m excited about this launch. We believe in removing any barrier to Wesabe being the best, easiest to use, and most helpful site out there, and I think today we’ve taken another big step out ahead of that. Head over to preview.wesabe.com and let us know what you think.

10 Responses to “Introducing fully automatic uploads”

  1. Rob Wilkerson (musetracks) Says:

    Oh, hell yes. I’ve been waiting for this. I didn’t even know I wanted it until I tried Mint for about 3 days a few months ago. I didn’t like much about Mint, but I _loved_ the auto-upload feature. I’m glad to see it make its way here.

    I can’t wait to try it out.

  2. Charlie Park Says:

    Good, good call. I think this will be a lot easier for users compared with the current download / upload requirement. Looking forward to your “behind the scenes” notes as to how you’ve set it up. I’m sure they’re brilliant.

  3. Tanc Says:

    This sounds great and its what we’ve all been waiting for. But you don’t mention what form this automatic updating takes? Is it something the web server will be doing behind the scenes? Or will we have to install something locally? Also, will it work with ‘problem’ banks, like both of mine, one of which has sadly neglected to include the balance data in its OFX output and the other which is in CSV format? Anyway, I’m very excited to give it a go.

  4. Marc Hedlund Says:

    Thanks for the comments, folks.

    @Tanc, yes, it will be taken care of behind the scenes — no need to install anything locally. It definitely will with your OFX/no balance bank, and will with the CSV bank once we support CSV (I know, you’ve been waiting far too long on that front).

    Thanks again.

  5. Tanc Says:

    Hi Marc, this sounds great, I’m really looking forward to trying this out. Please invite me asap 🙂

  6. Chris Says:

    I think this is a good move. If automatic updating is done in the background, will this this automatic updating also apply to the balance Dashboard widget? I was just thinking that feature might have more utility if it was constantly pulling fresh balance data.

  7. Viktor Lakics Says:

    This is good, choice is great! Personally, I would stick with the manual (or rather the desktop) uploader, since this gives me a chance to use my own script to generate an OFX file and upload it to WESABE.
    There always will be a bank where the automatic uploader will not work (if the bank does not provide a way to download your transactions), like lots of banks in the UK! So, please do continue to support the variety of ways to access wesabe, for the paranoids like me!

    Thanks a lot! Viktor

  8. Brent Dixon Says:

    This is really exciting. Since my credit union added the CIA-esque BioPassword to its login, my Firefox extension has been willy-nilly. Back to automation we go.

  9. Ade Says:

    Will it accommodate bank’s sites that request random digits of your banking password? I don’t know about US banks, but a lot of UK banks do this on their websites.

  10. KMuhler Says:

    Too bad Wells Fargo is broken. Could have been a great website.

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